Apple and Google Collaborate to Bolster Privacy with New Tracker Standards in iOS 17.5

April 03, 2024 – Apple, in collaboration with Google last year, announced plans to establish new industry standards to tackle growing concerns over tracker privacy issues. The move came in response to worries that trackers, such as AirTag, could be used for malicious tracking. According to recent reports, Apple intends to introduce this enhanced privacy feature in the upcoming iOS 17.5 system update.

Tech website 9to5Mac has uncovered hints of this anti-tracking functionality within the internal code of the iOS 17.5 developer beta released by Apple today. New code within the “Find My” application indicates that the iOS system will be able to identify trackers that are not certified by Apple or not part of the “Find My” network, and assist users in disabling them. One code snippet reads: “This item is not certified for the Apple ‘Find My’ network. You can disable this item to prevent it from sharing location information with its owner. For instructions on how to do this, refer to the item manufacturer’s website.”

Although this feature is not yet available for testers, it is highly likely to be rolled out alongside the official release of iOS 17.5. Companies such as Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, Eufy, and Pebblebee have expressed interest in supporting this technology.

Previously, Apple and Google stated their intention to develop a new universal system for both iOS and Android that would detect and alert users about unknown trackers. Currently, the iOS system can detect unknown Bluetooth location trackers, but only those that are part of the “Find My” network. Apple has also released an application for Android devices specifically designed to detect AirTag.

Based on the information released so far, iOS 17.5 Beta 1 appears to bring mostly incremental changes and minor adjustments. With rumors suggesting that Apple plans to unveil new iPad models and accessories in May, it is anticipated that iOS 17.5 will be officially released to the public next month.

Leave a Reply